Nostalgia is a powerful thing. You only have to look at the legions of adults suddenly remembering their favourite Pokemon to see that. What’s interesting though is when you go into something intended to tickle a bit of that nostalgia buzz with none of that nostalgia to bask in. All of which brings us nicely to Ratchet & Clank.
A remake of the original game – done from the ground up with a few things added – Ratchet & Clank is aimed at two audiences. The kids who have gone to see the movie that was recently released and the adults who played it first time round. As someone who falls into neither of those categories, I went into this blind.
And I had a bloody lovely time. Ratchet & Clank is such a creative and joyous game to play that even the simple task of smashing boxes to collect as many bolts as possible is fun. The platforming is as smooth as you could hope for in 2016 and there are no dodgy camera issues to contend with.
Where it’s main strength lies is in the shooting, however, which with Insomniac’s ever ending list of inventive weapons never fails to get old. Want to turn an enemy into a sheep and then make him dance? There’s a gun for that. How about changing him into an 8-pixel version of himself? Yep, that’s covered too. While you have more classic weapons like a flamethrower and a sniper rifle, the joy is in the out there assortment of armament that you pick up during your journey. Figuring out how they can work together to get the maximum effect.
The game also looks incredible. While comparisons with Pixar are massively overegging the omelette, these bright and colourful worlds are worth taking the time to explore. It’s one of the few games where I’ve bothered to go around and pick up all the collectables because I had no problem bouncing through these bright levels. It probably helped that I came into it off of the back of putting quite a few hours into Bloodborne, but I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to spend time here.
It’s not perfect, some of the puzzle solving is confusing – particularly the trespasser parts – and it slows down the game, while the final boss had me threatening to chuck my controller out the window in frustration. However, that didn’t stop my time with Ratchet & Clank from being a complete and total joy. This is the kind of game that you could sit down and play for an entire weekend, and yet when you get to the other side of it, you will be tempted to start it all over again. And it doesn’t whether you are fuelled by that nostalgia or not.